Our Last Six Months

An Illustrated Memoir About Life, Cancer, End-of-Life Care, Love, Family, and Forgiveness 

by Emily Bracale


When independent single-dad Aubrey reveals that he has stage 4 cancer, “normal life” goes out the window for his ex-wife and their thirteen year old son. They and others witness his brave efforts to heal himself in his final months of life as he struggles to come to terms with his mortality. The family learns on their feet as they encounter each new situation. The narrative describes the patient’s experiences with hospitals and nursing care, the end-of-life decisions he encounters, the activities of his caregivers, the responsibilities of his health-care advocates, and the role of professional helpers such as Social Workers and Hospice. This real-life story showcases what many people in the USA go through when dealing with the governmental and health insurance bureaucracies, end-of-life choices and healthcare, and the profound effects of poverty on health. In the face of all these challenges, it is the generosity of Aubrey’s family, friends, and community that makes all the difference.

This unusual hybrid book conveys half of its story visually, through hundreds of cartoons, comics, and painted illustrations integrated with the text. There is a tremendous depth of tender – ness in the telling, even a dose of humor. Ultimately, this book is a heart-warming celebration of life and love.

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“I enjoyed Our Last Six Months so much. It is heartfelt and thoughtful and a damn good read.  What a great way to remember Aubrey, and to help others who find themselves in the land of the sick. Bravo!”
— Lynne Assaf, Hospital Clinical Social Worker

“This is more than a memoir—it is an essential guidebook for others in similar difficult situa – tions. The author gives us a direct and true account in an honest and openhearted way, never maudlin or sentimental. Illustrations help to tell this story with warmth and humor. This is a gem of a book.”
— Jeanie Smith, Board President, The Whole Heath Center

About the Author & Illustrator 

Emily Bracale is a lifelong artist and educator. She is a graduate of the Interlochen Arts Academy and College of the Atlantic.  Her professional experience includes classroom teaching at public and private schools, art education for children and adults, graphic design, landscape design, watercolor landscape painting, and nonfiction writing. She is the author and illustrator of In the Lyme-Light: Portraits of Illness and Healing (2010) and the revised edition, In the Lyme-Light II: Portraits of Illness and Healing (2014).

ISBN 978-1-947758-03-2
207 pages